Ten Great Ceiling Fans

Most interior designers hate ceiling fans and I get it - there aren't many rooms that don't look more beautifully decorated when the ceiling fan is replaced with an attractive overhead light fixture.  However, if you live in a house such as mine where some rooms never cool down as much as others in the summer, ceiling fans are a necessary evil. We have ceiling fans in each bedroom of our home and now my husband is lobbying to add a fan to our home office, which I'm in the process of remodeling from its former life as a dining room. I'm not loving the idea of adding yet another ceiling fan to our home but since our home office is as close as my husband gets to having a man cave, I'm trying to stay open minded and have done a lot of looking to see if I can find a fan that I could live with. Before getting to my favorite fans, let's talk about the golden rule of ceiling fans - a simple design is best:  
{Elle Decor}
{Houzz: Mackle Construction}
You can even get your fan to blend into its surroundings and almost disappear by having one with clear blades or
{House Beautiful}
blades that are the same color as the ceiling:
{House Beautiful}
{Dillon Kyle Architecture}
Another important tip is to be sure and keep the height of your ceiling in mind when selecting a fan - once hung, the fan blades should be a minimum of 7' from the floor.   In searching for a fan for our home office, I've found that there are a lot of very attractive ultra contemporary fans and a lot of ugly, ornate traditional fans but very few good-looking, transitional fans. After MUCH looking, here are my ten favorites:

  • The 52" Industry Ceiling Fan made by Modern Fan Co. has a galvanized finish and five choices in blade colors (I prefer the nickel). I love this fan's old school, industrial feel! 

  • The Industrial 56" Three-Blade Indoor Ceiling Fan from Westinghouse is the most contemporary of the fans on my list.  I love its sleek, simple design and nickel finish and I really, really love its price (under $50 at this time!). The fan's description notes that it is truly designed for industrial spaces and that industrial fans are not recommended for household use but there are tons of rave reviews from customers who bought this fan for their homes - I recommend that you read the full description and reviews before deciding if this is the fan for you.  Due to how low down from the ceiling the blades on this fan are located (about 17"), it wouldn't be a good choice for a room with 8' ceilings.

  • The 52" Lapa Fan from The Period Arts Fan Company has a simple, classic design that really appeals to me. It comes in a rubbed bronze finish with either black or mahogany blades. It is also available in a 42" version.
If you have 8' ceilings, you can skip the down rod and instead go with the Lapa Hugger Ceiling Fan (this is currently the top contender for our office fan!):

I'm a firm believer that all ceiling fans look better without attached lights so choose one without lights if you have can lights or other sources of lighting. That being said, I really like having lights on the ceiling fans in my girls' rooms and will settle for something less attractive to have the convenience of attached lights. If you are in need of a ceiling fan with lights, the Industry Ceiling Fan and Lapa Ceiling Fan above come with light options.  My other favorite options are:  

  • The Schoolhouse Fan from the Period Arts Fan Company has a classic schoolhouse light and traditional fan blade design. The light fixture on this fan is my favorite of the bunch.

  • The 52" Acero fan is another fan that has some traditional elements, but a clean design that gives it a more contemporary feel. It is available in brushed steel/brushed nickel (below), 

        oil rubbed bronze/mahogany (below), 

and brushed steel/mahogany. The fan comes with a cap that can be used if you don't need the light:

  • The 52" Mika-Aire Aluma fan has a simple, modern design that would work well with almost any style of décor. If you'd like a fan that blends in with your ceiling, choose the flat white color or if you'd like to add an industrial vibe, it is also available in aluminum.

  • The 52" Mika-Aire Strata Ceiling Fan is similar in design to the Industry Ceiling Fan and Lapa fan but I like the light on this fan better than the optional light for those two fans.  It is available in galvanized metal (below)

         or smoked iron (below):
  • The Highpointe Ceiling Fan from Emerson has a busier design than most of the others but I like that it has some unique character. It is available in a brushed steel finish with dark mahogany blades or a golden espresso finish with chocolate blades (shown below).

  • I'll leave you with one final, inexpensive option for those of you who already have a fan but hate the ugly light kit (I've got three of them myself!). Paint the fan blades if they are an ugly color and then change out your dated light kit for a drum shade fan light kit from Shades of Light to update and transform the look of your fan:

I'm going to be giving this a try in our guest bedroom sometime soon and will share some before and after pics. Do you have a favorite fan that's not on my list? I've got about a week to figure out which one I want to buy for our home office so I'd love to know about any other options I may have overlooked. Hope your week is going well - the weekend is almost here...
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Olive Leaf Stencil Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone for entering the giveaway for a beautiful stencil from Olive Leaf Stencils. I knew that you would love Olive's amazing stencils as much as I do! Based on the giveaway comments, the most loved stencil was the Silver Birches Allover Stencil:

And now on to the giveaway winner that was chosen at random by Rafflecopter - it is..... Debbie Ritenour! Debbie's favorite stencil is the Dogwood Branch Stencil:

Congratulations Debbie and thanks to Olive for this great giveaway!  
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Holiday Gift Guide: Hostess Gifts

Happy Monday friends - how was your Thanksgiving weekend? We didn't do any traveling this weekend and ended up having a very low-key, relaxing, stay-in-your-PJs-most-of-the-day kind of weekend. I even wimped out on any hard core Black Friday shopping, choosing instead to get a good night's sleep and just run out for a few things after the doorbuster crowds had cleared. I'm planning to do a lot of my shopping online this year and am banking on some great deals for Cyber Monday.  On my long list of things to buy before Christmas are hostess gifts for our holiday parties. I definitely do my share of grabbing last minute hostess gifts at Target or Pier One but this year I'm planning ahead and buying my gifts on Etsy where many stores are providing discount coupon codes for Cyber Monday. When shopping on Etsy, just be sure to read each shop's policy or contact the shop's owner by e-mail to find out how long it will be before your product is shipped so you don't miss out on getting your hostess gifts before your parties! Now on to my favorite hostess gift picks:  

Etsy shop Sunshine & Vodka (I love this store based on it's name alone :-) sells the neatest embroidered wine gift bags. They normally sell for $15 each but on Cyber Monday you get 20% off if you use the coupon code HOLIDAY2012. There are lots of bags to choose from but these are my holiday favorites:
Perfect Pair Parties has personalized everything - wine glasses, cutting boards, koozies, you name it.  For hostess gifts, my favorite is their set of four coasters that are personalized with a name or monogram and the colors and pattern of your choice for only $12.

Jennifer Lyons sells a variety of unique handmade items and personalized gifts. This embroidered "Peace, Joy, Love" towel would make a great hostess gift. It is regularly $9.99 but you can take 10% off with code BLACKFRIDAY through Cyber Monday.

Milk and Honey Luxuries sells one of a kind luxury gifts including unique vintage looking wine stoppers for $15-$16:

The best part is that each wine stopper comes in a pretty organza bag that can be looped over the neck of a wine bottle for a perfect hostess gift:

When I found Braggin Bags (Morgann Hill Designs) I fell in love with the shop's gorgeous rustic chic items. Braggin Bags is geared toward decorative items for weddings but many of them would also make beautiful hostess gifts. I already bought a set of three birch bark log votive candle holders that sell for $16.50 and can be ordered with personalization for a few more dollars.  

For another hostess gift, I bought a monogrammed birch wood vase that sells for $19.99:
Just be aware that unlike the birch candle holders that are ready to ship, the vase and other items in the store may not be ready to ship out for a few weeks - e-mail the shop's owner for more info if you have a deadline to meet. 

You can find another hostess gift option at The Party Fairy, which sells a huge selection of party supplies including these cute holiday red and green striped straws that are $8 for a pack of 50 straws. Pair a dozen of these striped straws with a colorful mug and some gourmet hot chocolate found locally for a cute and easy gift.

What are your favorite things to give as hostess gifts?
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2012 Black Friday Home Décor Deals

Are you ready for the chaos of Black Friday? There are always lots of great deals to be had on toys and electronics but I've also found some fantastic deals on items for your home. Here are my picks for this year's Black Friday: 

IKEA's Lack Side Table will be on sale for $4.99 (regularly $7.99 - $9.99) in several colors: birch effect, black-brown, black, and white.
It's a pretty nondescript looking side table, but this baby has potential, as you can see in IKEA Hackers embellished version:

IKEA also has 50% off of their stuffed animals all weekend long - the large jungle animals are great for decorating a nursery!

Home Decorators Collection has "12 Days of Deals" that started on the 15th and continues through the 26th.  Each day, they offer 30-50% off a certain category - today (11/22) is 40% off all beds and bed linens so you can get this Queen Notched Headboard with Nailhead Trim for under $250!:
They haven't yet revealed the deal of the day for Black Friday, but in the past it has been 50% off of a certain category of furnishings so be sure to check out their site tomorrow!

At World Market all tabletop frames are buy one, get one free in stores or 50% online

throw pillows are buy one get one free in stores or 50% off online, 
and all framed art is 50% off (I love these series of art prints!):

Michaels has some great coupons that you can get out of their Black Friday flyer or by going online.  Most Michaels stores will be open from 4-11pm on Thanksgiving day and they have a coupon for 30% off your entire purchase that day, including sale items. There are also coupons for 25% off your entire purchase on Friday and 20% off on Saturday.  In addition, they have coupons for 50% off any one regular price item on Friday and Saturday.  Those are some great deals if you want to get a jump on your holiday decorating!

Ballard Designs has free shipping on orders of $50 or more plus 10% off now through Tuesday, November 27th. They're one of my favorite sources for ready-made drapes:

Wisteria, which is another of my favorite online sites, has 25% off sitewide through Monday if you use the promo code THX25 at checkout. This Hanging Pendant Lamp is on its way to me thanks to that discount!

At West Elm, use the promo code "BUY2SAVE" in store or online to get a certain percentage off of any purchase:

At Pottery Barn Kids, save $20 on their Anywhere Chairs & Beanbags plus get free personalization:

For Cincinnati readers, did you know that Pottery Barn Teen is coming to Kenwood Mall?! I'm loving it because it's one of my favorite places to shop for my girls!
One Black Friday, they are having a celebration with free giveaways and a live DJ all day so be sure and stop in if you're going to be at the mall.

I hope you all have a successful shopping day and, more importantly, a nice holiday weekend with your families.
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